All About The Trio - Back To The Basics All About The Trio - Back To The Basics

Ellen Rowe

All About The Trio - Back To The Basics

Paul Keller

All About The Trio - Back To The Basics

Peter Siers





All About The Trio - Back To The Basics

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Jazz Trio Playing

  • $30 Assigned Rows 1-2
  • $20 Assigned Rows 3-5
  • $15 General Admission
  • $5 Student
  • Ellen Rowe, piano
  • Paul Keller, bass
  • Pete Siers, drums

Event Details

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the foundations of jazz. An education in the fundamentals of jazz...and a lot of fun! This month, the trio will diving into the fundamentals and secrets to jazz playing in a trio!

Ellen Rowe

Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. Ms. Rowe has performed throughout the U.S., as well as touring in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, South Africa, and Australia. Her CDs “Sylvan Way”, “Denali Pass”, “Wishing Well” and “Courage Music” are available on PKO records and at The Ellen Rowe Quintet has been featured at the Jazz Education Network Conference, the San Jose Jazz Festival, Western Michigan Jazz Festival and 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival. Her quartet performed at the 2017 Michigan Jazz Festival. She was also a guest on NPR’s “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz” on two separate occasions.

Ms. Rowe's compositions and arrangements are published by Doug Beach Music and Sierra Music Publishing and have been performed and recorded by ensembles including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, BBC Jazz Orchestra, U.S. Navy Commodores, Berlin and NDR Radio Jazz Orchestras, DIVA and the Perth Jazz Orchestra. She has received commissions from the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, Minnesota Music Educators, Illinois Music Educators and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra in addition to junior high and high school groups throughout the country. In the last several years she has been Artist-in-Residence at the Grieg Academy in Bergen, Eastman School of Music, University of Wyoming and the Pittsford School District in Pittsford, NY. She has also been selected to conduct All-State jazz ensembles throughout the country, including the MENC All-Eastern and All-Northwest groups.

Paul Keller

Paul Keller is one of the busiest bassists in the Detroit area today, earning the nickname “The House Bass Player For The State Of Michigan.” Since 1989, Paul has led the 15-piece Paul Keller Orchestra, which plays original, obscure and classic big band material from all periods of jazz history, and performs every Monday night at the Zal Gaz Grotto in Ann Arbor. Paul also plays in the popular Keller/Kocher Quartet and in The Paul Keller Ensemble, a three-horn sextet that features creative arrangements by Keller and his bandmates. Paul has been recognized internationally for his association with pianist/singer Diana Krall and guitarist Russell Malone.

Pete Siers

Like Clark Kent, jazz percussionist Pete Siers is soft-spoken and unassuming–but put him behind a drum set, and a hard-swinging, intensely physical, dynamically sensitive drummer emerges. When Pete plays, “straight-ahead, readily apparent musical joy” can be expected, according to the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association. And Paul Pearce of Bass World magazine writes that “Pete absolutely ‘sings’ with his drum kit.”

A consummate professional, Pete has an international reputation for his “restless curiosity, attention to detail, and mastery of many different styles,” according to Mike Stratton, host of the FM 89.7 radio show, “The Vinyl Side of Midnight.” Siers has played with jazz luminaries such as Russell Malone, Mulgrew Miller, Marian McPartland, Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, James Moody, Kenny Werner, David “Fathead” Newman, Eddie Daniels, Frank Morgan, Scott Hamilton, Bob Wilber, and Barry Harris. In addition to his expansive performance career, Siers has played on over 50 recordings, including Russell Malone’s Black Butterfly on Columbia Records. He recently played Carnegie Hall, has toured Europe several times, and is a long-time favorite at many jazz parties and festivals across the U.S. Pete continues to perform orchestral pops shows such as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave’s Louis Armstrong Tribute and Dave Bennett’s Salute to Benny Goodman. In addition to his performance and recording career, Pete has taught percussion and jazz drumming for over 25 years. He teaches privately as well as having taught at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts, Emory University, Purdue University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He was also an artist-in-residence at Interlochen School of the Arts.

Despite being a veteran teacher, Pete recognizes the impact of other musicians on his style such as New York pianist and educator Kenny Warner with his concept of “effortless mastery,” Jeff Hamilton’s dynamic showmanship, New York drummer Bill Stewart’s flawless execution and coordination, and Elvin Jones’ primitive, organic drive. But one of Pete’s greatest lessons was from Detroit saxophonist Larry Nozero back in the ’80s when Nozero told him before their show, “Rehearsals are over–it’s time to play.” “This hit my like a shot,” says Pete. “From this, I began to understand what it is to play music at the highest level. When I play, I want to go up there and disappear, to be the sound.” Siers is an authentic risk-taker who serves the music and surrenders to what it calls for.

Siers’ aspirations are as numerous as his accomplishments. The ultimate goal for his Latin quintet, Los Gatos, is to experience first-hand the roots of Afro-Cuban rhythm in its place of origin, Cuba, and to study with the masters. The Pete Siers Quartet, including two tenor saxophones and organ, will release a new CD in 2009. The repertoire is post-bop and high-energy, straight ahead jazz. Pete also has his eyes on a trio project with piano and tenor saxophone. The arrangements are unique yet reminiscent of the Gene Krupa Trio from the early 1950s. This year, Pete will also continue his piano trio settings with the release of Organic Roots.